I can’t believe that this time last week I was putting the final touches on my very first official business planning workshop.
On January 27th, 2018 I hosted SWEET Brands “The Workshop” for incredible creative business owners that traveled near and far. We even had someone travel here to Maryland all the way from California.

The workshop was created to support the attendees in planning their marketing, PR, and content for 2018, along with an opportunity to explore topics related to mental health, business growth, and leadership. The day was packed with an agenda designed to educate, inspire, grow and support creativity and clarity for next steps in growing a more profitable business. And as the day started and progressed, more and more ah-ha moments and exciting breakthroughs occurred by everyone in attendance.
The event was truly magical and the energy amongst all of us only made the experience all that more incredible.

Now let me tell you what some of our attendees had to say about this experience:

When I asked them:
What’s one thing you took away from this experience:
“Lots! Pitching, creating my bumper sticker! Social posting tips”.

“I need to be intentional about setting aside time to complete workbook and planning everything out.”

“How to pitch my services.”

“To have confidence in myself and my social worth, and how to plan for success
Ahhhhh so many things. Pitches and the possibility of representing my brand by using other brands that align with my vision and ideas clients”

“I was able to gain a better understanding of marketing my brand, and understanding of the steps required to pitch to a sponsor and most importantly, the importance of interacting with my audience by the contents, videos, and images I post.”

And when I asked them:

In your own words, tell us about your overall experience at S.W.E.E.T Brands “The Workshop”

“Thank you so much for pouring so much into us on Saturday! I learned a lot and connected with absolutely beautiful women, inside and out. It was such a blessing!”


“GREAT! So much clarity received. It’s a steal – honestly. Thank you!”

“I learned a lot and met great people!”

“It was amazing! The information I learned is simply life changing!”

“It was so incredibly wonderful- extremely intensive and real conversations that break down the ideas about marketing and branding. New, fresh ideas and having solutions and answers specific to MY business is an amazing takeaway.”

“I truly enjoyed this experience and the relationship that I have gained with other entrepreneurs.”

Before I go any further, let me tell you a little about the incredible speakers and sponsors who made this experience even more incredible.

Meet our Speakers

Moni Jefferson

Topic: Creating the Perfect Pitch & PR Strategy for 2018

Moni Jefferson is a publicist, founder of the Milspouse Creative community, owner of D&H Public Relations, proud Airforce wife, mother to three and a passionate creative business owner/influencer. She will be teaching “hands-on” style how to create your PR strategy, specific to your business. She will share with you how to find brands to collaborate with, how to pitch for speaking and sponsorships and more. She’s taking the mystery and confusion out of PR. She’s full of passion, energy and serious know-how. I can’t wait for you to experience her knowledge, expertise, and guidance.

Deborah Duley

Topic: Anxiety, Depression, & Confidence: Maintaining mental health as an entrepreneur

Deborah Duley, MSW, LGSW is a licensed social worker. She has a BS in social work from Bowie State University and a Masters of Social Work from Howard University, Washington DC. She is a certified Stepfamily Foundation Counselor and is ASIST trained in suicide intervention. In addition, Deborah is trained in divorce and custody mediation.

Deborah is the founder and owner of the group counseling practice Empowered Connections LLC, located in the heart of Leonardtown Maryland where they specialize in seeing women, girls, and our LGBTQ community. She is passionate about assisting women who struggle with anxiety, self-esteem, divorce recovery and survivors of abuse.

She has over 25 years of experience working with women in many capacities such as activist, domestic violence counselor, and crisis interventionist. As the “women’s therapist,” she is passionate about working with women and teen girls. She has been featured in numerous publications such as The Huffington Post, bustle.com, Stepmom magazine, and more where she writes about the issues women & girls face each day.  She is also a regular contributor to Southern Maryland Woman magazine.

Natalie Franke Hayes

Topic: Strategies to grow & sustain a profitable business in 2018

Natalie Franke Hayes is an entrepreneur, mobilization marketer, community builder, and neuroscience nerd. As one of the Founders of the Rising Tide Society and the Head of Community at HoneyBook, she leads tens of thousands of creatives and small business owners while fostering a spirit of community over competition. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and dog, consumes copious amounts of coffee every day, and enjoys traveling to new cities with a camera in hand.  (Natalie recently had brain surgery to remove a tumor and she is healing well. However, she will be joining us virtually

Marva Goss

Topic: Content is Queen: Creating your 2018 Content plan

Marva Gross is a brand storyteller and content strategist that helps female entrepreneurs position themselves as the go-to expert in their field.  She is a mother of one and military wife. She and her family live in Maryland and she works with clients all over the country.






Connie Fuksa

Topic: Maintaining a profitable business & building a strong team

Connie Fuksa has owned several different businesses the past 30 years including a commercial insurance company, a title/home closing company and a software development company.  Each has allowed her to grow and collaborate with many types of personalities that require many different skill sets and personality developments.  She prides herself on the design and creative way we guide each team member to successful production and solutions.

With teams as small as 2 and as many as 50, she has climbed mountains never experienced by others.  Developing a team and keeping them focused and successful is not only her craft but her passion.  She loves helping other team leaders focus on the importance of their team and master helping set themselves and their team up for greatness.

Personally, she is a mother of a Navy Sailor and is thrilled and blessed to be married to the man that has made her heart smile for more than 25 years.

And then our awesome sponsors that provided the most amazing gift experience to our attendees to make it a more enjoyable and memorable experience. I’m so appreciative of them and their continued support.

Meet our Sponsors

Create unique, engaging experiences for the mobile and desktop visitors to your professional photography website with Showit’s drag-and-drop builder. Learn more about Showit hereand be sure to follow them on Instagram here.

Abbey Kyhl of Seven Summers Creative is providing an exclusive offer to all of the attendees. To learn more visit here and be sure to follow her on instagram here.


Featuring the Simplified Planner®, Emily Ley is a collection of classically styled, simply designed organizational tools for women and their families.  For more information visit here and be sure to follow her on social here.


Dubsado is the ultimate client management system for creative entrepreneurs. Easily keep track of clients, send contracts, accept payments & stay organized with complete bookkeeping. For more information visit here and be sure to follow them on socialhere.

Sabrina Hare of Couture Cakes by Sabrina, provides unique cake designs that highlight attention to detail and exclusivity. Her motto is “It’s not just cake, it’s an experience.” For more information visit here and be sure to follow them on social here.


Hello Love Events specializes in wedding planning, design, & coordination. We assist engaged couples in creating personalized and joy-filled celebrations while ensuring that every event is executed seamlessly with excellence. For more information visit here and be sure to follow them on social here.
Tamara Ibanez is a portrait Photographer and Makeup Artist based in Southern Maryland. For more information connect with her on Facebook, here.
Posh Soles are foldable posh flats for the sole. These shoes are great for weddings, event, or comfort on the go. Order your Posh Soles here.

I’ll be sharing more photos and such about the event soon.

It’s such a powerful thing to take an idea, turn it into reality and share it with others in a way that not only encourages you but supports them in accomplishing greatness. That’s the benefit of building a purposeful business. Because you’re able to serve from a place of deep and true connection to your purpose while also serving others in the most creative and life-changing way. So, hearing and experiencing the excitement and satisfaction of the attendees was the right thing for my heart.

Lessons Learned

And just like everything in life, there are always lessons to be learned and I learned a few lessons while planning and hosting this experience. I want to share a few of them with you in hopes you realize that you can do the things you desire even when it’s not perfect because perfect isn’t the pursuit, but instead growth.

1. Give more time to plan while at the event. There was so much to cover and the attendees all have homework to do, but I decided that the next workshop will need to be two days so there’s even more time to plan.
2. Give them more protein. I loaded the ladies up with yummy and healthy food…and plenty of sweet treats too. Next time I’ll add a little more protein to even out some of the sweet treats. But it is called SWEET brands for a reason. Just saying.
3. Host it over two days so the day isn’t as long.
I’m being transparent with you because I believe we all can learn from one another. So, if you plan to host your very own event, hopefully, you can learn from my lessons learned and make your event even better.
And because I believe we get better when we’re willing to learn from our growth opportunities and implement those lessons into our future efforts.

Join us for the next workshop

And speaking of the future, you guessed it, yes—there will be another workshop. In fact, it is coming in April and I’ll be spilling the sugar really soon. And if you want to be first to hear, then be sure to join the SWEET Brands Community here.

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